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Application Of New Material In Lightweight Design Of Automobile
Sep 09, 2017

Application of new material in lightweight design of automobile

Current status of global mainstream OEM lightweight materials

For independent brands, due to above many external conditions, so the lightweight design of the independent brand is the main structural lightweighting strategy, supplemented by using part of the heat molding board, different thickness. So the main body is the basic component of steel, in the main structural members did not have too many practical new materials, only in a high-end brand vehicle suspension arm and body bumper beams, hood, cylinder and other parts of the Aluminum Alloy, gas inlet for engineering plastics, which accounted for low proportion.

In fact, from the above analysis, we can easily find that material lightweight mainly in some of the high sensitivity of the cost of high-end luxury cars and more sensitive to the weight of pure electric vehicle type used more. These models are mainly concentrated in Germany, the United States, Japan, these three countries, we take a look at these automotive power of lightweight materials in the proportion of vehicles.

The first is Germany, as a result of Europe in energy consumption and emissions policy more strictly, on the other hand, Germany is currently the luxury brand models of most countries, new materials and new technology for high-end models will also have a sense of luxury and blessing, so Germany with ABB as the representative for the use of new car prices appear the materials are more enthusiastic, especially in Audi, BMW Aluminum Alloy body in carbon fiber body are in a leading position in the industry.

In 2015 the German new car production Aluminum Alloy and other new materials in the body and chassis in the proportion is as high as 25%, is currently the global automotive lightweight materials with the highest proportion of the country, to the trend in 2020 the use of new materials will continue to rise, will reach about 34%.

The second is the United States, although the United States is a high-end luxury brands are more, but the U.S. auto industry for the new lightweight materials are mainly derived from the development of new energy vehicles, emissions and energy consumption pressure, on behalf of the enterprise is the Tesla, GM and Ford etc.. At present, the Model S Model and Tesla X in the body and the chassis are using the basic Aluminum Alloy and other composite materials, while GM high-end brand Cadillac in the car for nearly two years also began to use the steel aluminum composite body structure, such as the Cadillac CT6, Ford is the first equipped with aluminum alloy body in this kind of F150 high-end pickup models.

Affected by the environment and energy crisis, the U.S. government has introduced a number of new energy vehicles encourage the development of preferential policies, enterprises also showed high enthusiasm, which makes the United States gradually leading global research and development and production of new energy vehicles. With the further development of this trend, to strictly limit the emissions by 2020, the proportion of sales of new energy vehicles will be further improved, and the proportion of new lightweight materials will be further enhanced, and this proportion may be from the current 15% to 20%.

Japanese auto companies have always been masters of lightweight structure, and they have always been excellent players in the management of energy consumption, so the auto companies are not so obvious in terms of material lightening power. In the development of new energy vehicles, Japan is mainly to hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell power, even pure electric vehicles is based on K-car models, the lightweight and not pure electric vehicles so urgent, so the proportion of Japanese car companies in the lightweight material is not high, only about 10%.

At present, the use of lightweight materials of the Japanese auto industry is mainly concentrated in some non structural parts, such as Aluminum Alloy hood, plastic wing and tail gate, there is some chassis and engine casting. The representative enterprise is TOYOTA Lexus and Honda acura. Honda has used the design department Aluminum Alloy body in the Acura NSX body, TOYOTA has been in the mass production of the NX series of car engine hood Aluminum Alloy using tail gate used engineering plastics, design and plan the Aluminum Alloy body in 2018 in the new camry.

With the energy consumption and emissions policy in 2020 the world's more stringent, Japanese companies have begun to increase the development of lightweight materials in terms of investment, is expected to 2020, lightweight materials of Japanese auto enterprises in the proportion of the chassis and body will catch up with the United States, reaching about 20%.


From the above analysis, the use of lightweight materials accounted for that automobile enterprises in the region are located in the automotive lightweight materials industry level from the side, also can reflect the development of new energy vehicles in the region level. But from the current trend, with further reducing the material cost, the development of Aluminum Alloy body in the next few years will usher in a period of the outbreak, to 2025, Aluminum Alloy production scale may reach more than four times the current.

At present, the independent brand in the pure electric vehicle mileage has not too brisk performance, a large part of the reason is due to the strong quantitative applications of automobile materials development, lightweight design is the necessary way to the development of new energy vehicles, with the car consumption deadline is approaching 2020 and 2025, and the government must increase investment in enterprises research in automotive lightweight materials.

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